Setup and Features
Like ASUS' other companion networking products we've reviewed, ASUS has stressed a quick and easy setup experience. Toss the driver CD in (or run its respective download file), and the driver along with a very non-invasive utility will be installed. It'll walk you through the simple process of selecting a discovered network and inputting the respective network security key in a simple, fluid, and easy-to-use UI. Everything is snappy and responsive, just how it should be. You'll be connected on the order of a minute, and then you've got monitoring options to monitor your connection quality as well as a number of advanced options. You can choose which frequency bands are operational if for whatever reason you want only a specific frequency. The software also provides status and config info, and the IP renew and IP release buttons are a handy feature to have in the UI.
Another very cool feature is that the USB-N53 can act as a "soft" Access Point and provide additional wireless range or guest networks where you can control access permissions. A pretty awesome and differentiating feature in a USB adapter. I could see this being particularly useful in bedrooms in a larger house where the weaker antennas in phones and/or tablets don't get reliable reception, but you can use the USB-N53 to extend the Wi-Fi coverage for your room. Very handy.